Hospital could face prosecution

By Brian FarmerA hospital where a nine-year-old boy died while being prepared for a routine operation could face prosecution, the Health and Safety Executive has confirmed.

By Brian Farmer

A hospital where a nine-year-old boy died while being prepared for a routine operation could face prosecution, the Health and Safety Executive has confirmed.

Tony Clowes died while under general anaesthetic at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, in July 2001. He was being prepared for surgery after trapping his finger in a bike chain.

The youngster, from Dagenham, died because, unbeknown to doctors, a piece of connecting tube forming part of the anaesthetic apparatus had been blocked by a tiny plastic cap from another piece of surgical equipment.


You may also want to watch:


An inquest jury on Monday found that "system neglect" contributed to the youngster's death.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided against prosecution after a police investigation concluded that Tony's death was not the result of any criminal act.

Most Read

But the Health and Safety Executive said yesterday it was continuing its inquiry to try to establish whether there had been any breaches of health and safety legislation.

"We are conducting an inquiry to establish whether any enforcement action - prosecution - needs to be taken,' said an Health and Safety Executive spokesman.

"We have discussed the matter with solicitors acting for Tony's family. We have been involved with the police inquiry from the start and our inquiry will continue until we establish whether there were any breaches of health and safety legislation.'

Tony's parents, George and Carol, said they were "appalled and angry'.

"His death was due to a failure on the part of senior members of staff and management to observe clear guidelines and safety notices that were intended to protect patients,' said Mr Clowes.

"Those failures, which amounted to neglect, resulted in the death of our nine-year-old son, whose life we entrusted into the hands of the professionals who failed in their duty towards him.'

The family said it had also reported the matter to the General Medical Council.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter